The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Obama signs a bipartisan bill — if you can believe it

08/07/2014 9:00 PM

08/08/2014 7:12 AM

Finally, Friday.

“As a country we have a sacred obligation to serve you as well as you served us.” — President Barack Obama as he signed a bill injecting more than $16 billion into the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs.

The president signed the bill shortly after the Senate passed it 91-3. Finally, a move with bipartisan support.

“I'm a NASCAR fan, and I love the National Guard — but spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on a recruitment program that signed up zero recruits, and that has been abandoned by other service branches as ineffective, just makes no sense.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill following the National Guard’s decision to curtail spending on recruitment and marketing with organizations like NASCAR.

From a McCaskill news release: Each year the National Guard spends more than $56 million on sports marketing with NASCAR and IndyCar, which amounts to 37 percent of its marketing and advertising budget. However in 2012, not a single National Guard soldier was recruited from the NASCAR sponsorship program.

“A lot of people don’t realize the impact that will have on school districts.” — Independence School District Superintendent Dale Herl in June talking about the impact that final day tax breaks passed by GOP lawmakers in Jeff City will have on schools.

Herl’s remarks were just one of a series of quotes Gov. Jay Nixon’s office sent out Thursday in an effort to show just how much opposition there is to the tax breaks. Nixon, who has vetoed them, refers to the breaks as “Friday favors,” a reference to the fact that lawmakers passed them on the session’s last day, which was a Friday. Lawmakers may attempt to override the vetoes when they return to the Capitol next month.

“It’s a three-way race where, despite getting beaten up rather badly in the primary, (Pat) Roberts has an advantage. I mean, it is a really Republican state.” — Michael Smith, a political science professor at Emporia State University, sizing up the U.S. Senate race in Kansas.

Smith is right — Roberts remains the favorite also because he has two opponents in the general election, not one. The two are Democrat Chad Taylor and independent Greg Orman. Unless one drops out of the race, Roberts probably wins.

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